Born in the United States, 45-year-old Akon grew up in his home country Senegal until he was 7 years old when his family moved back to New Jersey. He spent some time in prison which influenced his music career.
His first single “Locked Up” was a worldwide hit after it was released from his debut album Trouble in 2004.
His second album, Konvicted received three Grammy Award nominations for “Smack That” and “I Wanna Love You”. He later had two more Grammy nominations to his credit.
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Forbes ranked Akon 80th (Power Rank) in Forbes Celebrity 100 in 2010 and 5th in 40 Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa list, in 2011. Billboard ranked Akon No. 6 on the list of Top Digital Songs Artists of the decade.